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Black people were not made to eat a heavily acidic diet as their body does not respond well to having excessive acids added to its chemistry. Not adhering to a more alkaline diet is the key to many diseases people suffer from, according to herbalist Dr. Sebi (who was born Alfredo Bowman). He says many illnesses that people suffer from, like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol can be eliminated if people ate foods that aren't heavily processed, or made in laboratories. He says people should aim to eat foods that are closer to what their ancestors in Africa did long before man knew about science and depended on it to feed them. If they did, he said they could find their health can dramatically improve. The message of a more alkaline-based diet was the message Sebi shared with Bahamians on his recent fourth visit to The Bahamas.
Although his dietary approach is relatively new to The Bahamas, throngs of people are already buying into Sebi's concept of the alkaline diet.
Annemarie Hepburn was introduced to Dr. Sebi's products seven months ago, and reports having seen remarkable results.
"My nephew would always tell me I should stop feeding my 92-year-old mother the natural foods I thought were good for her -- but once I tried the food and products from Dr. Sebi I was impressed. I had a skin problem but since doing a cleanse and using the Sea Moss I not only have clearer skin but also I'm losing weight naturally. My mother is even so impressed that she doesn't even like eating other foods she used to love like crabs and cassava," said Hepburn.
Sebi, 79, a health and food researcher originally from Honduras, has been sharing his knowledge for over 40 years and said he was led by God to do the research on taking care of the body and finding the truth about better nutrition. Despite disbelief of his concepts he is encouraged to spread the word about having more balanced and acid-free diets from his own life experience and seeing results everyday from people living on his prescribed alkaline diet.
"The mistake many people make about their health is that medicine and science are the answer to everything. But if you start from a good foundation in the first place there is no need or room for medicine to have to heal you. In fact most illnesses are caused by inflammation, and inflammation is caused by irritants or things your body does not need and constantly fights against," he said. "And the greatest of these problems is the presence of acids constantly being ingested in our bodies -- be it from fruit, starches, processed foods and preservatives to drinks and other things people eat without thinking about from day-to-day."
Sebi, who established a healing village in LaCieba, Honduras and the Dr. Sebi's Research Institute in Los Angeles, which focuses on gathering natural foods and researching what makes some foods healthier than others and what benefits they have for the body, said the problem all starts with the mucus membranes in the body that protects the body from acids and irritants. He said that due to being bombarded with these things, the mucus begins to grow in excess and there is chronic inflammation. Whether the inflammation becomes a cold or causes a chain reaction that results in other illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure or even cancer is all determined by how the body reacts to trying to regain its proper balance.
"The best way to describe how badly we are hurting ourselves is to look at a car. When you have a car you know already that you are to put gasoline in it or diesel for it to run properly and for as long as it should. The same goes for the body. We are to put in the right kind of fuel so we run well and don't have hiccups or breakdowns along the way," he said.
The herbalist said the natural foods man should eat have long been lost over time, but that there are still many natural foods that are alkaline-based that people can be eating like sea moss, wild rices, agave sugars and fish.
"While this is what many of us should be eating today you have to know what's good for your body. For instance, although most birds fly all of them aren't made to eat the same things," said Sebi. "An eagle knows he must eat meat. He asks no one if it's healthy or if he needs more vegetables and starch. Other birds know they must eat fruit and seeds. They will never eat meat. So the same for humans. We are all wired a certain way to eat certain things so we can benefit the most from the foods we consume rather than be harmed."
According to the herbalist, disease and illness only exist in acidic environments, which is why Sebi encourages people to know how their body functions and to intake more alkaline products.
"This is not just to say to eat more natural foods, but to know where your natural foods are coming from. Many of the acids we are exposed to are from food we assume are harmless like cane sugar and starches. Cane sugar is not good because not only is it processed, but many of the strains of cane used today are made in laboratories and therefore are acidic in nature."
Return to eating natural foods
Sebi believes returning to eating natural foods untouched by science will promote more healthy cell growth, eliminate unhealthy ones and diminish disease and premature cellular deterioration in the body. He and his natural cell food research teams have been able to gather and readily provide the foods he talks about
for health conscious consumers.
Douglas Storr who was already health conscious said he was enticed into giving Sebi's products a try because he's always looking to do even better things for his body.
An avid fan of exercise, Storr would suffer with muscle pains and other aches normally, but he said once he found more natural products through Dr. Sebi's products he was able to fulfill his need to eat more healthily and reduce his aches.
"I was really impressed with the products like sea moss because it has done so much good for me. I had experienced a really bad tumble a few weeks ago and I really couldn't walk on it (foot). It was bruised, it hurt and I knew I had to go to a doctor, but before I did that I tried the sea moss which is supposed to help cell rejuvenation and healing first. I was amazed that as bad as my sprain was I was feeling better within three days," he said. "I never experienced something like that. I also used the sea moss to treat my dandruff and that too went away within a few uses. I really have more energy now than I have had before because of being more careful with my diet I feel."
Dr. Sebi who was born in the Spanish Honduras, never attended school -- not even kindergarten, according to his official biography. Instead, he took cues on being obedient to the procession of life from his grandmother. His early days of play and observation by the river and in the forest, coupled with guidance from his grandmother, afforded Sebi the foundation to be obedient to what he terms is the "truth" in his later life.
He went to the United States as a self-educated man who was diagnosed with asthma, diabetes, impotency and obesity. After unsuccessful treatments with conventional doctors, Sebi was led to an herbalist in Mexico where he found healing success from all of his ailments. He began creating natural vegetation cell food compounds geared for inter-cellular cleansing and the revitalization of all the cells that make up the human body.
Inspired by the personal healing experience and knowledge he gained, he began sharing the compounds with others, which gave birth to the USHA Research Institute and the Usha Healing Village.
Dr. Sebi's products can be found locally at New Life Natural Cell Foods on East Street south.
Take what you know about grocery story deli offerings and toss them because what became the norm - rotisserie chicken, peas and rice, steamed chicken, BBQ ribs and the like - simply does not cut it at the country's newest store deli.
At the Solomon's Fresh Market in the Old Fort Bay Town Centre in western New Providence, it's a place where you can allow your taste buds and adventure for food to go wild - think compressed watermelon and tomato salad with feta cheese and sunflower sprouts; seared rib eye steaks; six-bean salad; feta, cured ham and spiral pasta salad sans mayonnaise; clam and wheat quinoa pasta salads; Italian tartine (open-faced sandwich); couscous with sundried tomatoes; duck confit... you get the picture. There are even food items for people that follow a macrobiotic (raw) diet, and who only eat foods that are cooked to temperatures at or below 98.7 degrees F. And of course for those people looking for a less adventurous meal, you can get that too.
"We don't really treat it as if we're cooking for a deli, and I think that's where the difference is," said Fresh Market food services manager, Chef Simeon Hall Jr. "You can take any one of the items we have in our showcase and plate it for service in a restaurant."
And the variety is almost never-ending with a menu that changes daily. There's always something new. On the day I visited, the hot food showcased oven-roasted broccoflower, sauted red bliss potatoes with onion and bacon, New Orleans dirty rice, thyme roasted French beans, brown sugar yams, seared rib-eye steaks, London broil tri-tip, steamed basmati rice, lemon and pepper chicken, garlic chicken and BBQ chicken. The soup display offered up split peas and ham soup, turkey chili with beans, tomato bisque and broccoli cheddar soups. There's even a Mediterranean olive bar offering a dizzying array of olives - blue cheese stuffed, marinated, garlic stuffed, kalamata and piccholine olives. And whoever thought of eating a pickled garlic, but that too is to be had, along with elephant garlic confit, ingredients that can do wonders to most meals.
The chef said variety is always key because they do not want to get stale.
"We have to continuously challenge ourselves with updating the menu so that customer expectation is always exceeded. We tell people they're probably going to get a favorite dish here maybe once a week."
With people moving away from uninspired food, the chef said people are interested in trying something new. But there is one salad that they do offer quite often, and that's a caprese salad (tomato and mozzarella) which sells really well.
"We walk the store every day and make a selection based on what it is we want to do. We are governed only by our creativity," said Chef Hall. "We are inspired by working around so many ingredients and we only use what's in store. Our goal now is to inspire people to create more."
Ensuring that they feed everybody, Chef Hall said that macrobiotic cooking - which is keeping everything under 98.7 degrees for the raw food diet set is important. On the day of my visit, a mushroom salad with tomatoes, Asian salad with broccolini, oyster mushrooms, sprouts, sesame seed and ginger dressing and an asparagus salad were to be had.
There are always grains, whether it is basmati rice, quinoa, couscous or pasta. And the antipasti selection is huge with about 24 different offerings. And there's no worry if antipasti is left over because the olive oil marinated antipasti always taste better the next day. But the Fresh Market rarely has any left over.
With spring officially here, Chef Hall and his staff are beginning to showcase foods that display the best of spring produce. Expect to see lots of items with tomato, corn, pumpkin, sprouts, vegetables and fruits like mango and avocado. He said because he works in the market, the possibilities are endless. And he enjoys working with the local and organic products from which he gets to choose.
"A large percentage, especially of our produce is organic in nature. If not organic, it's local. And as a chef, I prefer to work with ingredients that are local over something that's organic from California because I can go to the farm and check it out. I can't check out the California farm, whereas I can go to the Lucayan farm and check it out and see what it is, so it's just as good to me or even better," he said.
To welcome in spring, one of the first lighter deli offerings was on the antipasti side, a compressed Andros watermelon, Lucayan spring tomatoes, feta cheese, sunflower sprouts and basil salad with a drizzle of strawberry balsamic glaze topped with day-old French baguette that had been made into croutons. It's a dish that showcased local ingredients with global techniques.
"Back in the day, we were taught we had to have 87 different flavors on one plate, but my whole thought process behind this dish, besides spring, was keeping everything basically red, but still contrasting it with colors. Compressing the watermelon removed some of the water from it for a textural change, and infused the melon with the lemon and basil flavors and scent. The salad can be made without compressing the watermelon.
The Fresh Market opened its doors to the public in November 20 and Chef Hall said while his staff offers store-driven foods in the deli, he said they also said educating their customers is high on their agenda as well. It's not uncommon Chef Hall said to find he or a member of his staff making suggestions to customers.
The Fresh Market deli is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on some Saturdays a pop-up omelette station may just be set up. Hot food is served from at 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.
Watermelon and tomato salad
Recipe: Chef Simeon Hall Jr.
8 ounce seedless Andros watermelon, large dice
6 pieces Lucayan Farms cherry tomatoes
1 ounce Feta cheese
Juice of half an Andros lemon
½ ounce flavored balsamic glaze, strawberry suggested
¼ ounce sunflower sprouts
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, toss watermelon and tomato with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Add the fresh lime juice and stir to make a stable emulsion. Plate the ingredients. Top with sprouts. Crumble the feta cheese generously on top. Finish salad with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and balsamic glaze.
The Government of The Bahamas should indeed encourage local production of agricultural products. However, threatening an all-out importation ban on chicken, a meat most cherished by Bahamians, is foolhardy and dangerous. Such political rhetoric towards protectionist practices does not bode well for The Bahamas in its quest to become a member state of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Wholesalers should be compliant with Bahamian law, and meeting with a majority of the wholesalers facilitates communication between the government and private industry. But wholesalers should be familiar with such threats to ban the import of eggs and chicken.
Alfred Gray's consideration of banning the import of chicken should wholesalers not cooperate with the government's position on the issue is reminiscent of sentiments uttered by members of the governing party in the past.
The Ministry of Agriculture naively assumes that an import ban would bolster Bahamian farmers. To reiterate what has been said before, the cost of doing business in The Bahamas is simply too great. Creating an artificial subsidy does nothing but perpetuate our existing barriers to business, such as high electricity and labor costs. Until we reduce operational expenses, Bahamian businesses will continue to struggle to compete on the global marketplace.
How can Bahamians produce food in sufficient quantities at a reasonable price?
Bahamian farmers and businesses must overcome high operating expenses to even begin competing with foreign goods. And even then, large operations have the benefit of higher economies of scale further reducing prices and adding pressure to the Bahamian farmer.
So if we are to ban the importation of chicken, it is in all likelihood that the higher cost to produce the chicken would be passed on to the consumer. As chicken is essential to the Bahamian diet, Bahamians would suffer financially because they buy local.
Furthermore, Bahamian consumers have more options than ever at the grocery store - this is a good thing. Consumers have the choice to buy regular, hormone free, organic, free range, or whatever type of chicken or egg they chose. Would these options still be available under a ban? And, which agency would regulate and ensure the health and safety of the consumers?
It is not reasonable to threaten a ban on chicken, the staple of the Bahamian diet. The government must understand why farmers cannot compete with foreign competitors, namely the cost of business and the poor quality of our soil, and offer assistance there. All businesses in The Bahamas would benefit from lower overhead costs.
We applaud ideas such as the prison work-to-farm program, which benefits all Bahamians. Our prison system is overstretched and rehabilitative programs are in severe shortage. Out of the box thinking is needed and should continue, but slapping an import ban on chicken is not creative and will not work.
The Bahamas could at least begin to offset these expenses by investing in renewable energy technologies, which is certainly a cleaner and more reliable source of electricity. As we all experienced this week, reliability is still an issue.
Kidney disease refers to any condition that damages the organs and results in impaired kidney function. Normally, the kidney works as an organic filtering system that screens waste products from the blood stream and excretes them into the urine. Kidneys also regulate the body's fluid composition and the nutrient content of the blood and produce hormones that control red blood cell production and blood pressure.
Kidney disease is characterized as a cube (of recent origination) or chronic (of long duration). Acute kidney disease affects animals at any age and is caused by trauma, disease or poison that damages the kidney. Common causes of acute kidney disease include chemical toxin like antifreeze, certain prescription drugs or infectious agents like leptospirosis.
This refers to the diseases or conditions that interfere with any of the liver's normal functions. The liver is a large organ located in the most forward part of the abdomen, resting against the muscular portion (the diaphragm) between the abdomen and chest cavities. The liver is essential for life and performs over 100 important functions, such as detoxifying poisons and drugs, metabolizing fats, storing carbohydrates, manufacturing bile, plasma proteins and other substances, and assisting in blood clotting. The liver is essentially an organic filter that removes waste and detoxifies drugs and poison, and acts as a factory that manufactures and process nutrients and enzymes.
Food in the intestine is absorbed into the blood which then ferries specific components to the liver. There, sugars and fats are processed, amino acids are produced and certain vitamins and minerals are stored. The liver also manufactures hormones important blood clotting enzymes and a substance called bile that allows fat to be absorbed. Other substances such as drugs that are carried by the blood are metabolized or altered by the liver into other forms. Foreign materials, including viruses and bacteria or poisons, are filtered out in an effort to protect the rest of the body from damage. It is for this reason that an animal's liver is exposed to diseases and injury more than any other part of the body.
Other conditions affecting liver function include birth defects, parasites and cancer. Liver disease is serious and often life-threatening to your pet.
Liver disease is often difficult to detect until the illness becomes severe because there is an over-abundance of liver tissues, and the liver can partially regenerate itself. The signs of liver disease vary with the degree and location of damage. However, whatever their causes, the signs are remarkably similar. Commonly, liver diseases result in anorexia (lack of appetite), vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and lethargy. When bile backs up in the circulation it can turn light-colored areas of the animal's body pale yellow or tea-colored. This is called jaundice and is most easily seen in the white of the eyes, gums or inner surface of the ear flap. Increased pressure of the veins that drain the liver may result in ascites, which is an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. The animal's abdomen will appear swollen or bloated. Hemorrhages are another sign of advanced liver disease, with bleeding into the stomach, intestines and urinary tract.
Various blood tests are necessary to discover the extent and nature of liver damage. In many cases, surgical removal of small pieces of liver tissue (liver biopsy) is the only way to diagnose the type of liver disease.
Treatment depends on the specific causes of the disease. Some types of liver diseases can only be treated in the hospital, while others are treated on an outpatient basis. Some liver diseases can be cured while in others, the goal of treatment is to control the disease.
Chronic hepatitis is the most common liver disease in dogs. Feline Hepatic Lipidosis also called fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease in cats. Overweight cats are at highest risk for this condition, and the definitive sign is when an obese cat suddenly stops eating. For reasons not completely understood, fat is moved into the liver and becomes trapped, resulting in compromised liver functions. Chronic hepatitis cases are idiopathic, which means that no definitive cause can be determined. When a cause can be determined, it is often due to another generalized disease such as cancer, kidney disease or an infection such as Leptospirosis. Treatment consists primarily of supportive care (IV fluids, antibiotics, etc.) Prognosis depends on the cause, but usually is not too good. About 30 percent of animals suffering from hepatitis will die within one week of diagnosis, despite treatment.
A congenital deficiency may result in portosystemic shunt, which is an abnormal connection of a vein into the liver that should normally close off shortly after the newborn is born. Surgical correction is the treatment of choice for some types of shunts.
A diet with a non-meat protein places less strain on the liver and gives it a chance to heal. However, it is best to follow your vet's advice since he or she is most familiar with your dog's diagnosis, clinical condition and dietary needs. There is no way to prevent congenial liver problems or to anticipate some immune or bacterial conditions that affect the liver. However, in cats you can reduce the risk of Feline Hepatic Lipodosis by keeping your cat slim. Also protecting your pets from poisons will help prevent toxicity induced liver damage.
o Dr. Basil Sands can be contacted at Central Animal Hospital at 325-1288.
Health officials, practitioners and researchers recently gathered in Washington, D.C. for the 38th annual meeting of the Global Health Council. They focused, in part, on the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and lung diseases -- a growing global challenge that requires the world's attention.
So serious is the global threat from NCDs that in September the United Nations (UN) will convene a first-ever "High-Level Meeting" devoted to the subject. The time is now right to bring together governments, international agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector in a systematic effort to address this issue in a comprehensive manner.
Worldwide, NCDs kill more people every year than infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) -- in its first report on chronic disease -- NCDs were responsible for 36 million deaths in 2008. And the toll is rising: While NCDs cause two-thirds of the world's deaths today, they are projected to account for more than 75 percent by 2030.
These so-called "lifestyle diseases" -- brought about or worsened by poor diet, smoking, alcohol, and lack of exercise, as well as genetic and environmental factors -- bring hardship to rich and poor nations alike. However, while developed countries worry about the contribution of chronic disease to rising healthcare costs, the impact on developing nations is even more severe.
Contrary to popular opinion, nearly 80 percent of NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, making chronic disease a major cause of poverty and a serious barrier to economic development.
The potential costs of chronic disease for developing countries are staggering. The WHO estimates that from 2005 to 2015, NCDs will cost China $558 billion in lost economic growth and income; India - $237 billion; and Russia - $303 billion -- for a total of more than $1 trillion.
These estimates are driven by the millions of people pushed below the poverty line each year by their own illness or that of a family member. Too many are cut down in the prime of life: Approximately 30 percent of those who die from NCDs are in their productive years, under the age of 60.
These premature deaths are all the more tragic because many are preventable, and many others can be diagnosed and treated effectively. Straightforward, cost-effective solutions exist to take on the global NCD challenge -- from greater emphasis on preventive care, early detection, and public health awareness campaigns, to better measures to improve diagnosis, treatment and disease management in strengthened health systems.
The most effective way to combat NCDs will be via robust partnerships among governments, NGOs, academia and the private sector. The private sector is a powerful vehicle for bringing innovative approaches to improve health outcomes, albeit one that policymakers sometimes overlook.
For example, the workplace is an excellent venue for sharing health information and for delivering basic services. Already, many private companies have been working to develop employee health and well-being programs. They know that healthy workers are happier and more productive.
More than 40 organizations have partnered to form the Workplace Wellness Alliance, whose purpose is to encourage healthy lifestyles among employees and their families, including initiatives to discourage smoking. Its members include corporate household names.
Johnson & Johnson offers on-site wellness coaching and prevention programs to employees. Humana, through its program Journey to Health and Well-being: An Integrated Approach, aims to creating a company-wide culture of health. My company, Medtronic, has created a workplace wellness program called Total Health, which proactively addresses preventable disease by looking at risk factors, including poor diet, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and lack of exercise.
Private companies are also reaching out past the workplace doorstep. BD, for example, has undertaken an initiative that will offer cervical cancer screening to 75,000 underserved women in Peru. Merck has been a leader in fighting diabetes in Asia, home to 60 percent of all cases. The Medtronic Foundation has a major grantmaking program targeting rheumatic heart disease, one of the most preventable of all heart diseases. Though it has been all but eradicated in developed countries, RHD claims 200,000 lives annually in Africa alone.
The private sector has another important role to play as well -- as a cutting edge innovator of new technologies and treatments that can improve the lives of those suffering from chronic disease. Innovative technologies and healthcare delivery models can empower patients to better manage their health.
To combat NCDs effectively, we will need a high-level political commitment and an investment of resources -- including financial resources, know-how and human capital. The most effective approach will be one that engages the private sector in a constructive dialogue and makes full use of its expertise, resources and commitment.
Momentum is already building. The September UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs could galvanize the global community into action, just as the UN's HIV/AIDS special session did in 2001.
If we are ready to make that commitment, millions of premature deaths and debilitating conditions -- as well as their socio-economic consequences -- could be avoided each year. Nations and global regions would be strengthened, too, as costly illnesses no longer swallow families' incomes or deprive children of parents. It's an investment we can't afford not to make.
Jean-Luc Butel is executive vice-president and group president, international, at Medtronic, the world's largest medical technology company.
Erika Robinson has enjoyed quite a journey to get to where she is today, operating a takeaway that sells food that both meat eaters and vegetarians can partake in. From the world of banking and finance to flipping omelettes out of a shack on the side of Carmichael Road, she's now found her niche on her family's homestead on Hawkins Hill, operating Da Glass Kitchen.
The food that Robinson has been serving for the past four years is delicious and famous around town -- for those in the know -- but at the same time, it's almost still a well-kept secret.
Fans of Da Glass Kitchen offerings swarm the spot for vegetarian breakfast items like scrambled tofu, grilled tofu, veggie burrito or a hot slam bam made with veggies and cheese. Regular Bahamian breakfast items like tuna salad, steamed mackerel and steak and eggs satisfy the carnivorous set.
For lunch, vegetarians can take their pick of veggie burgers, tofu or curried veggie medley, or a sautéd veggie wrap, to meals like sautéed vegetables or BBQ tofu, BBQ veggie steak strip or curried tofu veggie medley served with veggie rice or white rice. Meat lovers can enjoy their fill of burgers from beef to turkey, curried chicken wraps, old-fashioned sandwiches like tuna melt, sausage and cheese or meals like curried chicken, BBQ steak or a grilled chicken medley with veggie or rice.
"One of the reasons why I started the restaurant is because I have more of a vegetarian diet, and there are very few places where I can go to eat in Nassau and choose from a menu. Generally, I may get a potato or steamed veggies, or maybe a salad, but there was nothing that would really satisfy me. And I wanted everybody to be able to eat at the same location. If I'm your friend, most likely you are not vegetarian, which means I have to find someplace for you to eat and then go somewhere else to find someplace for me to eat. I wanted both people to be able to eat at the same place, and this is why we have not only vegetarian foods, but foods for everyone to enjoy," said Robinson.
Having enjoyed a vegetarian diet for 15 years, Robinson is also cognizant of the fact that most vegetarians are conscious about how their food is prepared and that there is no cross-contamination with meat products.
At Da Glass Kitchen, their food preparation is front and center. The minute you push open their old-fashioned screen door and step up to the counter your view is of the entire kitchen and what is going on. You can see chefs chopping cilantro, slicing mushrooms, dicing peppers and stirring a pot of curry chicken. And you will never see them cross contaminate ingredients for a vegetarian dish with a meat-eater's dish.
"We have an open kitchen, because someone like myself -- and most vegetarians I know -- are very particular about how our food is being prepared. We want to make sure there is no cross contamination at all, so people get to actually see their food and how it's being prepared," says the 38-year-old Robinson.
While everything on the menu she says is a must-have item and meat eaters would actually find themselves enjoying a veggie option if they gave it a chance, Da Glass Kitchen is famous for its burgers which Robinson says accounts for 90 percent of her sales. From delicious beef to a succulent, juicy turkey, veggie and a grilled chicken breast, there's a burger offering, hot off the grill, to suit every palate. Their wraps are also big sellers.
The health conscious Robinson offers healthier alternatives to all of her menu items. Fried foods do not show up anywhere on her menu. Her remedy for those persons that need French fries on the side of a burger is to offer sautéed garlic potatoes or a garden salad, or a curried veggie medley.
The daughter of Bahamian sporting legend Thomas Augustus Robinson and a Mexican mother, Robinson also "dips" her hat to her Mexican heritage as well with a few Mexican influences on her menu, like her fish omelette with Mexican salsa and tortillas.
"We offer foods that nobody else offers and that's what I think makes us unique. It's pretty much about our product, the way we view the customer, our customer service, our dedication to the preparation of the food, to the final product, and that's why I think I can truly say our final ingredient is love, because we love what we do."
For those people weighing the option of trying a vegetarian dish, her recommendation is to start with the scrambled tofu, which is flavorful due to the different herbs they use. It also has more of an egg consistency and is a dish meat eaters will identify with because visual is just as important as taste.
Robinson, who loves food, says she came across her cooking skills through observation and taking the time to read, watch and learn about foods, seasonings and herbs. For her cooking is the greatest entertainment -- more than music, art or books.
And her restaurant was named Da Glass Kitchen for two reasons, one being you can see right through the kitchen, but chiefly in honor of a woman by the name of Katie Glass who Robinson met when she shot a documentary with Maria Govan about HIV/AIDS six years ago. While shooting the documentary she learned that Glass has lived next door to Robinson's grandparents, Cyril H. and Willisie Isadora Robinson. Robinson had not known Glass (who has since passed) as a child.
"What was most significant for me about meeting her [Glass] was that she taught me so much about living in a glass house, what it is to not throw stones and what it is to not judge people. She was one of the most beautiful people I've ever met and just made some wrong decisions, and so the restaurant was named after her."
As the secret that is Da Glass Kitchen and its delicious food continues to circulate, Robinson's immediate goal is to expand the back of the takeaway so her patrons can enjoy outdoor dining.
And she's proud of the fact that her food is bringing people into Hawkins Hill, rather than her taking her operation to a more mainstream, commercial location.
"When we move the seating outside -- the backyard where I grew up, where I climbed the guinep tree and the avocado tree, where I picked the mangos and the hog plums, that's the backyard I want people to be able to come in and enjoy their lunch and breakfast, so it will be a cultural experience."
As much as she calls Da Glass Kitchen a takeaway, Robinson does have seating for at least 14 people between the few tables she has set up and the counter space, if you can find a space.
Starting from a one-man show, Da Glass Kitchen currently has a staff complement of six, including Robinson. She says her story is one of passion and the will to succeed.
"We started out with just me, and no one would walk in. I had more of a delivery service, and one stove and one refrigerator. I worked the kitchen. I was blessed to have a building, and now I've been able to expand, and more and more people know about us. Our logo is Da Glass Kitchen: Where our final ingredient is love, and that's what it's about for me."
Da Glass Kitchen operates out of what was Robinson's grandmother's old Tuck Shop called Tony's Dry Goods. Just being in the location where she is now at gives her pleasure, because it's where she grew up.
"My grandparents are such a strong influence, and have been such a strong influence on the entire family, and as the youngest grandchild, I spent a phenomenal amount of time with my grandparents, at the home and in this shop. So it's a very personal feeling for me to be here, knowing that they would approve, knowing that hard work is something they taught us from the very beginning, as well as my dad, because his whole story is about discipline, dedication, determination and desire -- the four D's, -- and he was always showing that to his kids. It was about teaching us that you have to work to get what you want and that is what [Da Glass Kitchen] is for me.
Da Glass Kitchen opens for breakfast at 7-ish, Thursday through Saturday -- and Robinson stresses the 'ish part, but she says they try not to open any later than 7:15 a.m. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 12 noon through 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday. She encourages telephone orders, especially for the lunch rush between 12 noon and 2 p.m. when she says it gets really crazy. The majority of their customers opt to telephone their order in and pick up.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet will work wonders for your love life. You will quickly drop unwanted body fat, feel more attractive, which always helps the libido. Healthy fats are vital to hormone production, and a healthy love life is all about the hormones.